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Honduras Investigates Ex-Congressman’s Killing

July 16, 2004

TEGUCIGALPA (AFP) – Honduranauthorities are investigating whether themurder of incarcerated former congressmanArmando Avila, shot to death lastSunday in the Tegucigalpa Penal Center, isrelated to organized drug trafficking.Security Minister Oscar Alvarez confirmedpolice have identified the shooter,but they have not yet identified the intellectualauthor of the crime.The former deputy of the right-wingNational Party (PN) was serving a 20-yearsentence after being arrested July 5, 2003,along with 10 others who were caught bypolice while fleeing after receiving a drugshipment from a small plane in the municipalityof San Esteban, 300 kilometers(186.4 miles) northeast of the capital.Fellow inmate Cuvernal Alvarado, 23,shot Avila four times. He claimed hekilled the former congressman for personalreasons.Police, however, suspect Avila mighthave been executed to keep him from disclosingother members of a drug cartel inexchange for a reduced prison sentence.

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